Chandigarh, a 'challenger' location for IT, BPO

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Chandigarh, Aug 16 : With new software development hotspots such as Ahmedabad, Pune and Goa developing quickly, Chandigarh is a 'challenger' location for the information technology and business process outsourcing.

'Location roadmap for IT-BPO growth: Assessment of 50 leading cities', a study conducted by the global consultancy major A.T. Kearney and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), an Indian IT industry lobby, indicates that the BPO sector in the country has the potential to grow five-fold in the next five years.

And, why not, tier-2 cities like Chandigarh emerge as a 'challenger' locations for IT and BPO industry.

"India should not take her success for granted. It is a fact that China is behind us in high-end outsourcing. But China is a quick learner. They are investing heavily in education. I think we should now make efforts to ensure that not only seven cities which are leaders in IT sectors. But if we can build 50 cities, including places like Ludhiana, Amritsar, Chandigarh, then I don't see any reason why we can't continue to succeed as we have population as well as capability," said Ganesh Natrajan, Chairman of NASSCOMM.

Due to its geographical location and being a planned city, Chandigarh is ready to host IT firms. The city has engineering and technology colleges that nurtures talent best suited to IT and BPO industry.

To provide consultancy and impart training in various disciplines of Information Technology, the Society for Promotion of IT Chandigarh (SPIC) has been set up under the aegis of the Department of Information Technology, Chandigarh.

"As far as development of human capital is concerned, Chandigarh administration has already started development of educational city where we have planned to have high-end courses. The criteria for designing the courses have been identified. Selection of partners for the educational city has already been entrusted to a committee of eminent experts in this domain. So, we have already selected partners for phase 1, 2 and third phase is in process," said M S Brar, Director, IT, Chandigarh.

The Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park is chock-full of big IT players like IBM, Daksh, Software solutions Ltd., Infosys Technologies Ltd and many more.

With the IT sector boom in the region, opportunities are there for job seekers.

"If we do nothing then seven leading cities (IT cities) will move from 2mn employment to 6mn. But if we do something which really promotes these destinations, then may be the 2mn jobs will become 5mn, but 3mn job then can be created in smaller cities which means indirect jobs of 1 to 1.5 crores which is fantastic achievement. So, it is NASSCOMM's efforts to make sure that we promote other cities, encourage reveres migration, then I think we can solve the problem," said Natrajan.

Another Hardware Park is being planned to be set up in Chandigarh. Though it may take several years to come into real shape, it will boost the industrial developments in the city.

In fiscal 2007-08, the industry employed more than 700,000 professionals and generated revenues of 11 billion dollars. It will rise further with smaller cities taking major initiatives.

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